International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

only days left!
Find us: Ft

Unravelling an unknown sexual conflict in the honeybee

Author(s):
Joanito Liberti, Joanito Liberti , Julia Görner , Mat Welch , Ryan Dosselli , Morten Schiøtt , Yuri Ogawa , Ian Castelden , Jan M. Hemmi , Barbara Baer-Imhoof , Jacobus J. Boomsma , Boris Baer
Institution(s):
Centre for Social Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Present address: Department of Fundamental Microbiology and Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; Centre for Social Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Present address: Department of Fundamental Microbiology and Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland ; Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia ; Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia ; Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia ; Centre for Social Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark ; School of Animal Biology and UWA Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia ; ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia ; School of Animal Biology and UWA Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia ; Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia and Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER), Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA ; Centre for Social Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark ; Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia and Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER), Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Queens of social insects make all mate-choice decisions on a single day, except in honeybees whose queens may conduct mating flights for several days even when already inseminated by a number of drones. Honeybees therefore have a unique, evolutionary derived, sexual conflict when queen decisions to pursue risky second flights are driven by anticipated later-life fitness gains not shared with the drones already mated with. We used artificial insemination, RNA-sequencing and electrophysiological experiments to show that seminal fluid induces a significant decline in queen visual perception by perturbing the brain phototransduction pathway within 24-48 hours. Apiary-trials confirmed that queens artificially inseminated with seminal fluid flew earlier than sister queens inseminated with saline control fluid, and more often failed to return to their hive. These findings are consistent with seminal fluid components manipulating queen eyesight to discourage higher rates of promiscuity, and suggest that the typical high number of matings of honeybee queens remains a dynamic compromise between female and male interests.
Back